How much is 'a can of lye'??? - Homesteading Today
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Old 11/23/10, 04:11 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Idaho
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Question How much is 'a can of lye'???

How much lye do you use if a recipe calls for 'a can of lye'???? I just got a new goat keeping book with soap recipes in the back but they call for 'a can of lye' and I don't know how much that is....8oz weighed out?????? Thanks so much!

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Old 11/23/10, 06:44 PM
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I'd find another recipe. That one is too vague for comfort.

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Old 11/24/10, 08:54 AM
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Any recipe that calls for a 'can of lye' is a very, very old recipe and should not be used.

What does the rest of the recipe call for? I'd run the oils through a lye calculator (you can try the one at MMS or Soap Calc

I have a few on my Soap Pictorial Page

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Old 11/24/10, 09:22 PM
 
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back in the days when granny made soap the lye came in 12 oz cans.think the brand names were "Mary War Lye" and "Red Devil Lye" LOL showing my age aren't I

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Old 11/25/10, 09:02 AM
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I don't know of Mary War Lye, but Red Devil changed the amount from 12 oz to 16 oz in the '90's. They quit making Red Devil lye about 2002.

With the change of lye amount in a 'can' of lye, going by a recipe that calls for 'a can of lye' is even more dangerous.

Ann Mary, give us a list of the oils you want to use, how much soap you want to make and we can come up with a wonderful soap recipe for you.

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Old 11/28/10, 12:06 PM
 
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When I started making soap I used the 12 oz Red Devil. I always use the entire can, I don't measure out bits of it. Larger batches are easier to deal with than batches where you use lye by the tablespoon. Red Devil switched to 18 ounce cans. Well, that was easy, just figure that 12 = 2 x 6 and 18 = 3 x 6, so I could easily convert my oils. But Red Devil stopped making lye, so I now use a 16 oz can and had to recalculate my oils.

I always start with the weight of the lye and figure the oils from that. I agree that you need a new recipe. Buy your lye and use the weight of the lye, all of it, to figure out your recipe.

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Old 11/29/10, 03:23 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice. I apperciate it. Here is the recipe I'm looking at....but,...if you have a better one you wouldn't mind sharing I'd be happy to try it. I have not tried milk-based soap as of yet.

Storey's Guide to Raising Milk Goats 2001 edition
Goat-milk Soap
1 can lye
3 pints goat milk
5.5# goat fat (or other animal fat), clarified and lukewarm
4 heaping teaspoons Borax
2 c oatmeal, finely ground
2 ounces glycerin

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Old 11/30/10, 09:00 AM
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This recipe was based on a 12 oz can of lye ... Even then, the amount of lye you should use for that much tallow should be 11.5 oz and not 12.

It calls for way too much milk (you only need about 30 oz instead of 48). The amount of oatmeal is way too much also. 5 heaping tablespoons of oatmeal baby cereal is enough. Borax isn't needed, it is probably in the recipe because it is used as a water softener. Borax can be an irritant to some folks. Glycerin is produced by the soapmaking process, there is no need to add more.

Olive Oil, Coconut and Tallow are three very common soaping oils. If you haven't processed any goats and don't have any tallow laying around, use Lard instead of Tallow.

17 oz Lard
17 oz Olive
14 oz Coconut (LuAnn brand can be found at WalMart)

16 oz frozen goat's milk, in 1" or less pieces
6.7 oz lye

Melt lard & coconut oil over low heat. Remove when melted. Add Olive Oil. Stir and set aside.

Add lye to frozen GM, stirring well until lye is dissolved. Do not allow your GM to burn (turns orange).

Immediately add the lye/milk solution to the waiting oils.

Stir to trace.

place in mold.

cover with blanket

unmold in 24 hours.

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Old 11/30/10, 10:33 AM
 
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Thank you so much! If I want to add some dried herbs/EO's I would do it right before the trace, correct?? And, since I am 'in waiting' for the goat milk can I practice on regular whole milk from the grocery store???

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Old 12/01/10, 07:54 AM
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You can add the herbs/EO at any time. with just the oil, after you add the lye solution, right before trace, etc.

Yes, you can use any type of milk from the store ... whole, buttermilk, soy milk, coconut milk.

Have fun!

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  #11  
Old 12/01/10, 01:00 PM
 
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Thank you for the help! I will be putting some milk into the freezer TODAY!!

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